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  • Mon to Fri 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday 10:00am - 6:00pm

The Cuban Experience

8 days Guided Tours

Virgin Holidays' view

The Pearl of the Antilles, Cuba is filled with Latin rhythm, colonial charm and revolutionary zeal. Lying at the heart of Spain’s once great American empire, today it provides a rich mix of natural and historic highlights that include World Heritage sites, beautiful Caribbean beaches and the iconic reminders of one of the 20th century’s most pivotal events. Our Cuban Experience tour takes you from its bustling capital and across a landscape liberally sprinkled with historic gems, captivating scenery and wonderful colonial architecture.

Itinerary

Day 1: Thursday

Upon arrival, you will be met by your Cubanacan representative, who will be located at the exit door and well identified with either the Cubanacan or Virgin Holidays logo. You will then be transferred to your hotel. Please note, on arrival, your representative will confirm the time of the welcome/information meeting where your guide will take you through all details concerning the tour, useful recommendations and optional activities. The rest of the afternoon/evening is at leisure. Spend 3 nights at the Iberostar Parque Central.

Day 2: Friday

After breakfast depart for your full day city tour of Havana where you will take in the key sights of this fantastic, Spanish colonial city. Heading towards ‘Old Havana’, first stop will be San Francisco de Asis Square, surrounded by historically important buildings such as the Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis. Take in the charm of the cobble-stoned, harbour side location and admire the striking white marbled Fuente de los Leones (Fountain of Lions), Next meander through Plaza de Armas, the social hub of the city with its host of bars and restaurants attracting locals and visitors alike, before stopping at the Palacio de los Capitanes (General Captains Museum), host to more than 60 Spanish generals over the years. Today, it is home to the Museo de la Ciudad (City Museum) unveiling a wealth of history and heritage about this fascinating country. Lunch is enjoyed at a local restaurant. The afternoon continues with a visit to Revolution Square, full of historical significance being the location of Castro’s many speeches and political rallies. Next stop is a walk along Malecon, soaking up the seafront and the local scene before ending in the hustle and bustle of La Rampa Street with its many outdoor hangouts. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure before an evening dinner and the Nine Canyon Ceremony at La Cabaña Fortress. (B/L/D)

Day 3: Saturday

After breakfast depart to the Viñales Valley, a designated UNESCO World Cultural Centre. Passing through rust coloured tobacco fields you have arrived in the region where, arguably, some of the finest Tobacco in the world is produced. Continue on to the beautiful La Cueva del Indio, a cave and underground river, rediscovered in 1920 with approximately four kilometres of underground streams. The final stop before lunch is to see the 120 metre-long Mural de La Prehistoria, designed in 1961 Leovigildo González Morillo. Lunch is at a local restaurant followed by free time to explore the local craft market, or just kick back and relax in the open air in a sillon (rocking chair). Return to Havana. (B/L)

Day 4: Sunday

After breakfast depart to Santa Clara, one of the most central regions of the country and home to the final resting place of Che Guevara. Santa Clara is where the revolution was won in 1958 and the town is steeped in history and symbolism of the world’s most iconic rebel. Enjoy a fascinating city tour, including visiting Che Guevara Revolution Square, the Museum and the Mausoleum. Wander through the Parque Vidal, a large square closed to traffic, popular with locals offering a range of cafes, offices and the town library. The final stop before lunch is the Armoured Train Battle Monument, representing the site where Che Guevara and his men overpowered an armoured troop train, a vital part in the end of the revolution and prompting Batista to flee Cuba. Lunch is at a local restaurant. Transfer to the tiny island of Cayo Ensenachos and check in to your hotel. Rest of the afternoon/evening at leisure. Spend 2 nights at the Iberostar Ensenachos Hotel. (B/L/D)

Day 5: Monday

Today, after breakfast, travel back to the mainland across the causeway to the colonial town of San Juan de Los Remedios, the oldest Spanish settlement in the former Las Villas province, explore the town square, park and church. Many sugar mills across the country have been converted into museums, and a visit to Museo de Agroindustria Azucarero Marcelo Salado (Museo del Vapor) covers one of the most famous. Dedicated to the history of the sugar industry, the trip wouldn’t be complete without a ride on one of the steam trains! Afterwards, return back to the Iberostar Ensenachos for lunch and the rest of the day at leisure. (B/L/D)

Day 6: Tuesday

After breakfast depart for Trinidad, en-route visiting Santi Spiritus in central Cuba, meaning ‘Holy Spirit’ in Latin. Enjoy a walking tour to take in the true Cuban way of life in this un-spoilt town. Just before arrival in Trinidad pass through the Valley de Los Ingenios (Valley of the Sugar Mills) and stop at the plantation of Manaca Iznaga, which is one of the few houses that are still well maintained. On arrival in Trinidad embark on a full tour of the World Heritage city including the Palacio de Cantero Museum, La Canchanchara Bar and Plaza Mayor Square. Lunch is at a local restaurant, and why not enjoy a Cuban dance lesson. Spend 2 nights at the Gran Iberostar Trinidad Hotel. (B/L/D)

Day 7: Wednesday

Today’s exploring will take you to Cienfuegos, a charming waterfront city, known as the ‘pearl of the south’ and the only city in Cuba that was founded by the French. You will stop en-route at the Botanical Gardens with its impressive Caribbean flora. On arrival in the city, enjoy a city tour including visits to the Tomas Terry Theatre, the Cigar Factory and the Palacio de Valle to marvel at its architectural brilliance. After lunch at a local restaurant take a relaxing boat trip around the bay. (B/L/D)

Day 8: Thursday

After breakfast, transfer from Trinidad to Varadero to Havana Airport for your onward travel arrangements or alternatively take an extended stay in Varadero. (B)

Dates & prices

The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.

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Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability and date of departure.

Prices are for departure dates listed, ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room and with return economy flights where stated. Single room and flight prices are available at a supplement.

Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.

Tour information

Please click here to download a pdf of the 2020 itinerary and additional tour notes

Pre/Post Tour information

The first day of the tour is at leisure so allows you enough time to arrive and relax. If you wish to arrive earlier extra nights can be added to your tour in the Iberostar Parque Central in Havana. Your hotel in Havana is in a central location so there are dining options close by as well as in-house options for you to consider. We recommend extending the end of your tour with a few nights on the beach in Varadero.

Time difference

GMT -4 hours (summer) -5 hours (winter)

Tour inclusions

  • Private air conditioned transport throughout exclusive to the Virgin Holidays group
  • Sightseeing as detailed including entrance fees
  • Services of an experienced, English speaking, local guide
  • Road taxes, parking fees, fuel surcharges and taxes.

Tour exclusions

  • International flight with Virgin Atlantic in economy class, including all UK and overseas airport taxes and applicable fuel surcharges
  • Flight upgrades and airport transfers in the UK
  • Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips & gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
  • The required Cuban visa
  • Anything not detailed on the itinerary including optional excursions.

Dining inclusions

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners.

Included activities

Tours listed in the itinerary.

Optional activities (not included and booked locally)

Advised by your tour guide on arrival.

Accommodation

Cuba is currently in very high demand and often to accommodate the group we may have to substitute one or more of the hotels with that of a similar standard. This tour is advertised as a 3.5V due to limitations in smaller areas but please note city hotels are of a higher standard.

Journey times

Cuba journey times between destinations can vary and sometimes be long.

Group size

There is a maximum of 25 people per group.

Extensions

Beach Extension

How about an additional 4 nights at the Iberostar Bella Vista on an All Inclusive basis? Please call us to discuss your extension requirements. 

Price is per person based on a 4-night stay on twin share. Price excludes airport transfer.

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Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of hand-picked options ready to book. But if you need more help, just give us a call on 0344 472 9499.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 31 August 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking, and you are due to travel before 06 October 2020, please log in to Manage my booking to call or message us. 

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're good to go


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. Log in to Manage my booking to request a call back to amend your holiday. Please bear in mind we’ll work through requests in departure date order so may take longer than usual for us to get back to you

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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